Smart Textiles at the Heart of Consumer Expectations

Now in its third year, the seminar “Textile, Cap sur le futur” took place in Paris on the 16th
March. Devoted to innovation and smart textiles, it demonstrated once again the textile
industry’s ability to reinvent itself. With Frédéric Ferrer as host and an on-stage display of
connected clothes by Claire Eliot, designer and creative technologist, the different highlights of
the day all showed the same positive energy.
• The Théophile Legrand International Prize of 2017 was awarded by its founder, Christian
Cambier, and Yves Dubief, President of the UIT, to Julien Payen, a textile engineer who
graduated from ENSAIT, and, at the request of Professor Pierre-Marie Danzé of the
regional hospital of Lille, conceived and developed an absorbable textile bio-prosthesis
using Calais lace for mammary reconstruction after breast cancer.
• Three keynote speakers, Vincent Marcatté (Orange Lab), Anne-Sophie Godon (Malokoff
Médéric) and Lutz Walter (ETP – Euratex), outlined the market opportunities for textile
solutions, particularly in the field of home support for the elderly and improvement of the
quality of life at work.
• The first roundtable, on “Textile skills of the future: awareness campaigns and training
for digital challenges in France and internationally” with Christine Corroy (ITECH),
Xavier Lépingle (Hermès TH) and Frédéric Rossi (Business France), focused on the
diversity of the necessary skills and on the positive dynamic between innovation and
internationalization.
• The second roundtable was an opportunity to present the main points of the White Book
on Smart Textiles drawn up by the UIT and to get the views on product development
from two companies, Farida Simon of TDV Industries and Michel Caillibotte of Damart.
Matthieu Bourgeois, a specialist in digital law, stressed the importance of data control.
• Five startups concluded the day on an optimistic note by pitching their business models:
Florian Miguet (Clim8) with connected sports clothes that warm or cool; Antony
Rouhban (Akiros) with a garment that helps to monitor and correct poor back posture;
Antoine Sérouille (Duoo) with boxer shorts that protect against the waves produced by
mobile phones; Audrey-Laure Bergenthal (Euveka) with an intelligent, connected,
customizable dummy that facilitates prototyping; and Caroline Van Renterghem (Wair)
with a connected antipollution scarf.
Yves Dubief, the President of the UIT, was happy to declare the day a great success and
reiterated that innovation was at the heart of the French textile industry’s concerns.
He noted the increasing importance of data and the consequent challenge for textiles to learn
how to manage data in order to increase the added value of textile products.